Merry Christmas, my fellow intellectual miscreants

I have now encountered two people, Gary Taubes and Richard Milton, and by my own judgment found them to be insightful. Their observations go against the grain of embedded ( and pompous) professionals.

Taubes described the field of nutrition in his book Good Calories Bad Calories, and how it was filled with people of modest intellectual energy but who were nonetheless dispensing bad advice about diet. Nutritionists have had a large hand in the obesity crisis. I took his words as a challenge, went against all “expert” advice on how to eat and lose weight, and it worked. I lost 22 pounds, and have kept them off, feel good, never suffering hunger pangs or low energy.

Milton has taken on the fields as diverse as biology, evolution, Darwinism, geology and even quantum mechanics, but focuses mostly on Darwinism. His most unwell-received work was The Facts of Life: Shattering the Myths of Darwinism.  (It is “roundly rejected,” says Wikipedia.) The science of evolution is full of holes plugged by speculation and assumptions. People in the field, including the revered Richard Dawkins, are engaged in a collective form of mental tyranny often referred to as “groupthink.” A common social phenomenon, it is the result of an enforcement mechanism called “ostracism.” People for the most part would rather belong and feel camaraderie (and have a steady stream of income)  than to be right about anything.

I found the same thing with regards to AIDS, that at the very top of the food chain the supposed experts were not merely self-deluded, but actual liars. But they controlled the one thing that everyone else needed, money. Deviants from the controlled orthodoxy are not only ostracized, but are punished financially. The liars, cheats, posers and mere go-alongs are rewarded, often handsomely.

Taubes and Milton are “science journalists,” that is, they are not part of the fraternities that they write about, and so enjoy some intellectual freedom. It is too bad we have no better word than “journalists,” as that field too is filled with mediocre sycophants, but the important point is that they do not rely on professional approval, peer review and other enforcement mechanisms, and so are free to research and report their findings.  They do so without being lynched by mobs late at night, but are nonetheless roundly rejected.

What I have noticed about both is intense curiosity and doggedness and ability to express their thoughts with great clarity. They each appear, outside looking in, to have remarkable intellectual capacities. They bring better questions, sometimes answered.

To have a clear view of our world we need to get away from the tyranny of groups. But in so doing, we lose camaraderie, cohesion and affirmation. Too many “experts” enjoy an adulatory self-image. They are smug and dismissive of contrarians. Pursuit of truth, after all, does not result in steady income. So those so engaged usually make their living in some other less stimulating fashion, honorable professions like truck driving, postal delivery, or even accounting. (I once referred to my profession, in front of a large group of accountants no less,  as the “second oldest profession.” Accountants take themselves sullenly seriously. My joke fell on the audience like soft snowflakes, in elegant embarrassing silence.)

Consequently, the search for truth is both lonely and impoverished. Those of us who do it usually have two lives. In one we are polite and passive, dealing with family and friends on a surface level, never broaching the rules of conduct at the supper table. We keep it light and superficial. That is our social lives.

In isolation we discover exciting truths and unexplained events, connections and that constant sensation that we are on the brink of something important. It is exciting. But we cannot share it with mere walking breathing mortals. They have been taught that everything is explained by authority figures. For them, it seems, the ultimate joy in life is faith and melding with the group. There is joy in that, I know, but looking back over my life I can see that I never sought it or made the necessary mental sacrifices to enjoy it. I was rather a fool to stand before several hundred accountants and politely ridicule them. That attitude led me to self-employment, a frightening prospect that brought with it the ability to think for myself.

I wish to take this opportunity to give thanks to the readers, writers and commenters on this blog. We rarely, if ever, come face-to-face, but we know each other on a level that is deeper than most Internet relationships allow. We have all had the following experience: Sitting at dinner on a holiday, take Christmas for example, we have heard a really stupid observation, and with mouth half-open thought to ourselves … “Nah. It just isn’t worth it.”

I toast you all this morning. Thank you for keeping this place interesting and lively.

26 thoughts on “Merry Christmas, my fellow intellectual miscreants

  1. Thank you Mark…my family is having dinner with another family…I’m invited, but decided to turn down the nice invitation to attend. Last year is still too fresh in my memory. Being alone is preferable to being an outcast.

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    1. So sorry, Annette. Have a nice holiday season anyway. Remember we are dealing with deeply brainwashed people who are swimming in cognitive dissonance, so that they strike out with anger when confronted with things they know on some level to be true, or at least troubling.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Mark, and a Merry Christmas anyway. Christ being born in a manger symbolizes the lack of concern for truth, because it doesn’t come in the form we expect. His coming into a world of indifference to bring the light regardless of how few value it is another lesson in how love doesn’t expect to be rewarded. How could people in such a state provide a suitable reward?

    Truth does exist and all the psyops and propaganda can’t harm a hair on its head. Just like Herod trying to snuff it out, the whoever they are continue on the same fool’s errand. While we see through a glass darkly, it’s that glimmer of light we see in this power of the truth, knowing it’s the thread that will one day unravel the whole charade. Faith, hope, and love are all tied up in this.

    I know most on here see the Christ story as another psyop, but I don’t. While the trappings of Christianity have been twisted by the usual shenanigans, and people are misguided to look for sweet bye & bye instead of the here and now, the “elites” are too blind to know how to cut the heart out of the message.

    So peace on earth to men of goodwill, as the carol says.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not concerned about the manger story and life of Jesus, as it carries with it so much embedded information. If you believe it to be true, you are not harmed, and if you think it just mythology, it is lovely nonetheless. Somehow a profound message is being transmitted. I stand in wonder and awe.

      Merry Christmas to you, IB.

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      1. Merry Mithras. I prefer to stand outside of cohesion and comraderie, as there are already to many fools in the game. I’ve never been good in games that involved group think-as that is the quickest and surest way of loosing one’s ground in truth.

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  3. Thanks Mark, and thanks to all that participate here.
    The double life is real.
    Often in conversations with friends and family about “the truth” I try to remind my self to respect the individual’s volition not to know. Since that’s likely a place where most of us have been at some point in our lives, and maybe still are to some extent. How could I get mad at someone for not wanting to know, or not knowing that they don’t know yet? I often think it’s very easy to blind someone with your light (truth), when in reality they can only handle a little glimpse of it in their darkness. (I use light as a metaphor only)
    Therefore I believe spending time with family and friends is important, as it is a great opportunity to shine a little light, and live your truth with them, even if they’re in the dark still.

    Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cheers and Merry Christmas to you and Clarice too, Steve. You bring a much-needed dimension to this blog, love of the outdoors and the politics of environemtnal destruction.

      The article Steve links to is a ten-minute read, and well worth anyone’s time.

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  4. Greetings. Thank you all for the time and effort you put into your posts. I’ve learned much from each one of you and hope to continue to do so. Thank you Mark for your blog and for being you. A very Merry Christmas from my house to yours.

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  5. Merry Christmas to all. ” You are given a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat, some of us get to sit there with notebooks.” George Carlin…….Special thanks to all the contributors for sharing their wisdom and investigative abilities. Should be an interesting new year.

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  6. Feliz Navidad a todos. You never stop learning. At least if you keep searching for the truth. I read “manger” somewhere in the comments, so I thought worth sharing something really striking I ran into a few days ago. It is about a character in Catalonia, Spain, very popular and related to Christmas folklore. I never heard of him until now, but here it is, the “Caganer”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caganer

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  7. I do not see it as a double life. It is just one face of the coin, the dark side of the moon, or one side of the triangle, or one side of the cube or… you get the idea… I do not trust people that go around preaching they know the truth and want to serve it to you on a plate. Being an independent thinker is hard work, man. I see it as a personal journey of discovery. In that sense, as a personal preference, I do not enjoy handing out the red pill to my friends and family. What I do, is I throw out here and there comments about the news, the media, their agenda and how they operate… and they get it, we are no geniuses but they get it. In time, they get it and stop being gullible at that level. That is the red line. If they want to discover more, that’s on them. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mark,
    You are correct about the book “Good Calories, Bad Calories.” But it is a dense read with numerous and seemingly endless research references. I made it to chapter 8 before skipping ahead to read the final three chapters. Here’s what I got out of it:
    1.) The cholesterol scare was based on bad science and faulty clinical trials. Cholesterol does not cause heart disease. The cause of the increase in heart disease is because people are living longer.
    2.) Indigenous people did not suffer debilitations like cancer, diabetes, etc. until they were exposed to refined carbohydrates like polished white rice, white flour, and sugar.
    3.) Over a century of “scientific” research and billions of tax dollars have left us fatter and sicker than ever before.

    I find it perversely amusing that George McGovern was the politician who essentially hijacked the nation’s nutritional welfare. I guess Mayor McCheese was indisposed at the time. Thanks to McGovern we were presented with a “pyramid” that advised us to primarily consume refined carbohydrates. Just like finances, this keeps us at the “base” of the pyramid, fat and sluggish.

    So, I’m assuming you are eating meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, and butter and eschewing bread, crackers, potatoes, and sweets. As much as I detest the treatment of animals in our industrialized farming apparatus, this does appear to be the way to go. Personally, I eat fish, eggs, cheese. I will occasionally eat organic soy, and twice a month I will have some chicken, turkey or steak. I never eat mystery meats, and never, ever, EVER eat pork. From what I’ve read humans do NOT taste like chicken. I like my greens leafy, not Soylent.

    Best wishes in the new year to you and yours. Looking forward to more mental protein in 2018.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Somebody else read it! I agree it was a slog, but I got through it. I believe it was 2010 when I tried to fit my fat ass into a seat in the upper gallery in Boulder for a Chomsky lecture, and decided something had to be done. I was clued in to low-carbing from years before, but never seriously felt a need to lose weight until then. So I tuned in to Taubes and indeed lost 22 pounds between April and August when we hiked around Mt. Blanc. Then gained it back, then lost it and realized that the regime had to be permanent due to my age and slowing metabolism.

      I had forgotten about McGovern. One of the main characters behind the switch from protein and fat to carbs was, no kidding, Secretary of Agriculture under Nixon, Earl Butts.

      So I am not religious anymore, and think the key for me to keep weight off is to avoid snacking, which is an easily formed habit after a couple of days, and stay away from beer, pizza, chips (which I love), donuts, ice cream … etc. So yes, we eat lots of chicken (my wife focuses more on oatmeal and greens and quinoa and that kind of stuff and is still at her high school weight), and I routinely make chili and meatballs so as to have it in hand. But the key to the “diet” was that when eating in that manner I am never hungry, have tons of energy, never get the shakes.

      But this time of year I don’t worry about it, and I don’t diet in public, that is, if we go out for a meal with company, I eat like a regular person and chow down on potatoes and carb it up and have dessert and enjoy it all. No sense annoying people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The only good thing about winter is concealing clothing. One other thing that struck me in the book was Taube’s comment that people can eat a bucket of movie popcorn containing 1100 calories, but would never consider eating the same caloric content of cheddar cheese slices. Bottom line, eating satisfying foods deters overeating. And all that stuff about insulin and glucose…blah, blah, blah.

        And yes Mark. Eating and truthing go hand in hand. No need to annoy people. La Salle made a salient comment on this thread. Drop a hint and let it go. “If they want to know more, it’s on them.” Amen.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. ANTJGMTT – is merely the acronym for the above comment. It was nothing disrespectful. “A NEW TRUTHER – JUST GIVE ME THE TRUTH”

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